Apple have announced an affiliate programme they call ‘Apple Services Performance Partner Program‘ which will see podcast listeners/users making money via affiliate links.
Yes you heard that right. Podcast listeners will have a chance of making money via a podcast affiliate link.
What is the Apple affiliate program?
Earlier this month, Apple announced paid subscriptions to allow podcast creators to better monetise their shows within the Apple Podcasts app: cutting out 3rd party podcast monetisation platforms like Patreon.
Spotify has also cashed in on podcast monetisation with their in-app tiered subscription but Apple’s recent news comes as a total shock to the podcast community.
However, it’s important to note that the Apple Services Performance Partner program wasn’t created solely for podcasters: the affiliate program also applies to sales made through Apple Music, Books, Movies, News, TV+.
How does the Apple Affiliate program work? How can I become an affiliate?
In order to qualify for the program, you need to apply directly on the affiliate resources site.
Apple is currently accepting a limited number of partners and any music artist, record label, podcaster, content websites, ad networks (to mention afew) is required to send a proposal to gauge whether you are a good fit.
In essence, the program isn’t available to everyone just yet as with all new product releases start off as a BETA tester.
How do you make money from Apple’s affiliate link?
Once you have submitted an application form, you will be given you a unique affiliate token. This is a combination of letter and number characters that you will add to all of your Apple Podcasts links.
When you send your affiliate link to a listener who becomes a paid subscriber to a podcast, audio book, music, TV+, News etc. you will receive a one-time commission from that sale. There are currently no commissions for recurring subscriptions.
How much commission do Apple affiliates make?
Below is a breakdown of the commission you can make through the partner programme:
The affiliate program pays a 50% commission for clicked links that lead to a subscription. For example, for a link to a podcast subscription that costs $10, the user would earn $5 in equivalent commissions.
iTunes Music, Movies, TV, App Store, or iBooks
As an affiliate, you can earn a commission on revenue generated by encoded links. Movies, TV, Mac Apps, Mac In-Apps, iBooks, and paid apps earn a 7% commission rate while iOS In-App purchases and iTunes Music earn a 2.5% commission rate.
What does this mean for the future of podcasting?
Apple has faced major backlash last month after podcast episodes went missing or didn’t show in user’s feed for days after release following the latest iOS update. The future of Apple maintaining it’s position as THE podcast capital was under threat with rival podcast giant Spotify announcing subscriptions, improved engagement and focus on women creators.
However, Apple seems to be on the path to reclaim their place with this announcement which has been quite the shock (a seemingly good one at that) to hear news of this program being rolled out.
Its worth noting that Apple podcast subscription isn’t currently available to all creators while the program is available in 170 countries.